Fourth Birthday Party: Firefighters

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After a year-long obsession with firefighters and Fireman Sam, it was only natural to throw Travis a firefighter-themed party for his fourth birthday. This theme is so easy and fun to do at home, and the kids were finally at an age where organized activities can kick in. Top it all of with a big surprise from a real truck – read on!

We held the party mid-afternoon in our apartment with family and a few close friends – nothing too big to overwhelm the birthday boy! Mama and son both got new outfits for the occasion. The boy’s shirt is Carter’s and the dress is Isabel maternity.

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To set the stage (er, station), we set up a table with red tablecloth, along with red and orange balloons.

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I strung a Happy Birthday banner with red, orange, and yellow streamers hanging from each letter. These were supposed to replicate flames, and although my husband teased that they didn’t look like flames at all, at least they carried on the color scheme!

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If you can score old firefighter boots or a helmet (we borrowed ours from a volunteer firefighter friend!) fill it with red, yellow, and orange flowers.

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Firetruck plates and napkins carried the theme over to the food area, as well as a fire hydrant lemonade dispenser, which was a huge hit with the birthday boy. The hydrant is from Oriental Trading, as were individual hydrant cups that the kids first had to find hidden around the room.

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Don’t forget plastic utensils, set up in red and yellow fire buckets.

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As mentioned, this year the kids could really comprehend organized activities, so we had five “stations.”

Station 1:

One half of the kids table featured fire safety leaflets and dalmatian doggie bones to color. The little artists in our group of friends had great fun here!

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Station 2:

Find a dalmatian printable or draw your own, and label each dog with a guest’s name. Once children find their dog, they can decorate it with black dot stickers. The perfect firefighter’s companion!

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Station 3:

A dress-up selfie station. I purchased one firefighter costume set with lots of props like axes, hydrants, radios, and helmets. Consider making a filter on an app like Snapchat, and proud parents can take pics of their kids dressed up. The more imaginative kids didn’t want to stop playing in this area!

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Station 4:

Time to put out the fire! We don’t have a chalkboard, but I painted a whiteboard surface with chalkboard chalk and let dry completely. Decorate with yellow and red chalk “flames” and provide the children with small water guns to squirt out the fire. The youngest guests in our group were happy here nearly the whole party!

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Station 5:

Back to headquarters for meal time! The food continued the fiery theme, with “Five-Alarm Chili” for the grown-ups (consider serving a milder version for kids) and hot dogs fresh off the grill. Although I normally keep food vegan at Travis’s parties, we did grill up a selection of meat dogs and vegan pups. “Water-hose-melon” and “hot” tomatoes (decorated with tissue paper flames) rounded out the simple meal.

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For dessert, bring out a tray of homemade cupcakes in red liners. Little fire engine toothpicks are the perfect finishing touch!

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The highlight of the afternoon was a visit from a real firetruck. Contact your local fire station and see if they can send a truck and a few firefighters to provide a demo and safety tips. Many are very happy to do so, especially for a small donation for their time!

It turned out our local firefighters were busy with their 175th Anniversary fair, but we found a fantastic local party service, Captain Jack’s, who was happy to come for a half hour and show the kids his truck.

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And the hydrant, a huge hit!

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Send guests home with little goodies that will continue the theme. Our goodie bags had items from Oriental Trading Company like firetruck crayons, mini water guns, firefighter tattoos, firefighter badges, mini flashlights, red lollipops (from Yummy Earth), and a fire hat for each child.

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Sound the alarm! This was one red-hot party.

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